From Left: Pres. Isaias Afworki, Ethiopia’s Foreign Minister Gedu Andargachew, PM Abiy Ahmed, Tigray region Pres. Debretsion G/Michael. There was a brief moment when peace seemed to be within reach. Picture: PM Office.
By Medihane Ekubamichael @Medihane
Addis Abeba, November 01/2020 – Amidst heightened tensions between the federal and Tigray regional state governments, Eritrea released an official statement yesterday accusing TPLF of obstructing regional peace and stability.
Headlined “Stabilizing regional peace and friendship,” the statement, which was also shared by Eritrea’s embassy in Addis Abeba, said that the Horn of Africa region has gone through destructive experiences due to its strategic importance that draws the interest of powerful nations since mid-20th century. This has in turn created destabilization of the region, resulting in various armed conflicts between countries of the region at different times. It also led Eritrea to go through a war for its freedom, and left Ethiopia unstable due to “TPLF’s poisonous ethnic based politics”, which caused the rise of armed groups and political opposition.
The statement hails that today the Horn of Africa is entering into new era following recent political developments in Ethiopia and Sudan. One of the biggest showcases of this stability is the end of the 20 year long tension that followed the 1998-2000 destructive war between Ethiopia and Eritrea. The statement said that this was achieved despite the years of TPLF’s reluctance which failed to implement international arbitration regarding the border dispute between the town countries.
The current peace agreement was therefore not only to end the standoff between the two countries but also to work jointly on different aspects partnerships and to ensure regional and continental peace and security. The statement recalled leaders of Eritrea, Ethiopia and Somalia meeting in Asmara to sign trilateral agreement to work on regional cooperation which has expanded the cooperation between these countries in the past two years.
However, the statement admits that there were “drawbacks that should be overcome with patience and hard work” because the treachery of distant forces who think the cooperation “won’t serve their interest” are not completely wiped off the region.
These forces have recently been seen in European countries such as Holland and Sweden, the statement blames; and from the region “the TPLF led group” that has been declared “Game over” for a while is dragging back Tigray from being a part of this change. TPLF is quivering in its “death bed” and won’t reverse this “course of history.”
Eritrea’s statement was issued in the backdrop of a statement from Tigray regional state on 26 October 26 in which the regional government accused “the Isaias regime” of “doing all it can to bring the people of Tigray, who paid tremendous sacrifices alongside the people of Eritrea during their struggle for independence, to their knees and plunge us into mutual bloodletting by scheming and conspiring with the enemies of the people of Tigray.” It also warned that “responsibility for any and all problems that follow” the federal government’s latest move to restructure the Ethiopian National Defense Force (ENDF), Northern Command, which Tigray rejected and called “irresponsible…” will be appropriately “laid at the feet of the two individuals at the helm of their respective unitarist dictatorship: Abiy Ahmed and Issais.”
Similarly, in an October 29 interview, Ambassador Seyoum Mesfin, Ethiopia’s former foreign minister, said that Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, who made “a one day secret trip to Asmara” on October 27, was conspiring with the Eritrean dictator to wage a war on Tigray. Ambassador Seyoum also claimed “Isaias’ military and security officers were currently in Bahir Dar advising on how [the newly announced north-west Command which will be based in Bahir Dar], they train, organize and lead combat” and that there the regime in Asmara was recruiting and training the young and old in Eritrea the aim to “finish off TPLF.” AS